Thursday, 21 February, 2019

United Nations chief praises Iran for implementing its terms of nuclear deal

Nellie Chapman | 18 July, 2017, 05:58

The White House issued tough talking points on Monday, obtained by Buzzfeed, which instruct its surrogates to defend the deal and promise to work with Congress to be tougher on Iran.

The last certification of Iranian compliance, in April, was also followed by a new round of sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies the administration said played a role in ballistic missile tests that are not covered by the nuclear agreement.

The U.S. State Department is reportedly preparing to issue a report for the second time since Trump took office certifiying that Iran is in compliance with the deal.

"There are no communications between myself and Secretary Tillerson", Zarif said at an event at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The possibilities for engagement.have always been open".

In New York to attend a United Nations forum on development, Zarif said he was open to speak with Tillerson as Washington carries out a review of the 2015 agreement reached with world powers on curbing Iran's nuclear program.

The absence of communication with the USA administration is in sharp contrast with Zarif's dealings with former secretary of state John Kerry, with whom he negotiated the agreement.

"The IAEA has verified, I believe, seven times now since the Implementation Day that Iran has implemented the deal faithfully, fully and completely". But with the introduction of a Senate bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran aimed at its ballistic missile program, the language of which the nonpartisan Arms Control Association calls "overly broad and imprecise", critics say the US has not met the deal's terms, endangering the agreement.

In July 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, signed the JCPOA.

Noting that Iran fought an eight-year war against Iraq in the 1980s during which it endured chemical weapons attacks with little sympathy from the rest of the world, Zarif said that "we need [the missiles] to make sure that another Saddam Hussein around the corner will not come and hit us again".

The nuclear deal stipulated a gradual lifting of the economic and diplomatic sanctions previously imposed on Iran in exchange for Tehran maintaining the strictly peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

Asked about Americans in detention in Iran, including a Chinese-American graduate student at Princeton recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly "infiltrating" the country and sending confidential material overseas, Zarif stressed the independence of his country's judiciary. But he said Iran's courts are "independent" and "we in the government do not have any control over the decisions of the judiciary".